The Myth of the Human Races

The Myth of the Human Races

Michigan State University Press
December 1997
210 pages
6.00″ x 9.00″
Notes, bibliography, index
Cloth ISBN 10: 0-87013-439-6; ISBN 13: 978-0-87013-439-5

Alain F. Corcos, Professor Emeritus of Botany
Michigan State University

The idea that human races exist is a socially constructed myth that has no grounding in science. Regardless of skin, hair, or eye color, stature or physiognomy, we are all of one species. Nonetheless, scientists, social scientists, and pseudo-scientists have, for three centuries, tried vainly to prove that distinctive and separate “races” of humanity exist. These protagonists of race theory have based their flawed research on one or more of five specious assumptions:

  • humanity can be classified into groups using identifiable physical characteristics
  • human characteristics are transmitted “through the blood,”
  • distinct human physical characteristics are inherited together,
  • physical features can be linked to human behavior,
  • human groups or “races” are by their very nature unequal and, therefore, they can be ranked in order of intellectual, moral, and cultural superiority.

The Myth of Human Races systematically dispels these fallacies and unravels the web of flawed research that has been woven to demonstrate the superiority of one group of people over another.

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